Beowulf Is The Longest Epic Poem

1316 WordsNov 29, 20166 Pages
Beowulf is the longest epic poem written in Old English. The story centers around the exploits of Beowulf, a heroic warrior known for his strength and bravery. The theme of heroism is prevalent throughout the poem through the use of conflict between good and evil forces. Beowulf is often engaged in selfless conquests in the pursuit of saving others, resulting in his emergence as the hero of the story. The text, while focusing on the main theme of heroism, is divided into two main parts, Beowulf as a young warrior and Beowulf as an experienced ruler. Heroism presents itself as both a virtue and a flaw for Beowulf; although it allows him to become a celebrated warrior, it is also what leads to his downfall as a ruler. The poem opens by illustrating the importance of courage, the ultimate form of greatness to the Danes. “So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness. We have heard of those princes ' heroic campaigns.’” (lines 1-3) In warrior culture, heroism and bravery are celebrated above all else. All great kings of the past were known for their heroism. Before ever becoming king, young Beowulf is renowned as a great warrior for his immense strength and courage in battle. Beowulf while known for his mastery of combat also fulfills his social obligations. He demonstrates virtues such as proper mannerisms, loyalty, courtesy, and pride all of which are dictated by the Germanic heroic code. He often demonstrates these virtues as the

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